Furious firefighters set to vote on industrial action

FIREFIGHTERS are likely to vote on industrial action against a plan that includes one of Woking’s fire engines being unavailable for night-time emergency calls.

A firefighter tackles a housefire

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is furious at a reorganisation that will see seven engines at full-time stations across the county without crews from 6pm to 9am.

The plan, called Making Surrey Safer, was unanimously approved by the county council’s cabinet on Tuesday last week, despite huge opposition from firefighters and a petition signed by more than 11,000 people.

It will mean Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) will nominally have 23 front-line fire engines on call overnight throughout the week, instead of the current 30.

Claims that the brigade already does not have enough frontline and control room staff to provide safe emergency cover had led the FBU to launch a trade dispute before the cabinet meeting.

The union has given the service until Monday to address its concerns, or it will hold an industrial action ballot.

For the full story get the 3 October edition of the News & Mail

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